The faculty-led programs and short-stays programs, have many benefits for students and teachers
For the students, a short-term program can be a study abroad experience more accessible in case of students with an overall academic plan/schedule, financial situation, or other obligations at home (family/work, etc.).
Shorter programs, with more-focused experiences, can make possible the participation of more students, logistically and financially. Students with little or no overseas travel experience, will find this model more attractive, feeling more comfortable about travel with someone they know (the rest of students and teachers). This familiarity can make the program with more discipline during the stay abroad, making the academic part more effective and serious.
For the faculty, there are professional benefits
It is always a sign of an enthusiastic educator, when the teachers can add on their resumes their experience leading short term programs abroad. The faculty with these experiences, show more ability to take bigger responsibilities in their professional career. Also there is an opportunity to engage with local in-country experts, to develop a network with same professional interests, future projects, research, etc.
Collaborating on a faculty-led program will not only lead to closer professional relationships with professors from other departments, but will also make the program more dynamic for the students. An unexpected, but very common result, is that students who were primarily from the other discipline then begin enrolling in courses from your discipline once they return home. For example, students not enrolled in Spanish courses, after one experience abroad in a Spanish speaking country, decide to take lessons of Spanish next year. That means the faculty can get more students next year, after this experience abroad.
In conclusion, the ideal students for short term Education Abroad, faculty-led programs, and experiential learning programs, like volunteering, and internships, are students with:
- Family or job responsibilities
- With limited financial resources
– Community college students
- Students who are not ready (emotionally, linguistically, or otherwise) for a long-term immersion program
- Or students with a very busy academic calendar
What are you waiting for a life experience abroad?!
Take the advantage of the tailor-made programs, and enjoy with more students and the faculty an incredible experience abroad, learning, enjoying and growing.
Fuente: Article of The School of Russian and Asian Studies
Article of JANET HULSTRAND is a freelance. writer based in Washington, D.C.